Thursday, March 29, 2012

Life in Africa - is it so different?

The internet was working well today, so I thought I would look up some
information that I wanted to know about growing something... As I was doing
that I thought about the various sites, sounds, and new challenges we have
here that I haven't experienced before. I thought, maybe someone who reads
my blog might be interested in a little taste of life here. So here is a
The information I was looking up was how to transplant and grow bananas. I
didn't have that issue in the Ozarks.
Another one of my concerns is how to keep the monkeys out of my garden.
They are becoming more and more of a problem for many of the people on
campus. We have not had an issue, but we haven't got anything but tiny
plants in the garden so far. We often see them just beyond the yard or in a
trees hanging over the fence. We watched some just across the road the
other day as we looked out the kitchen window. (I can't say we did that in
Missouri, Arkansas or Michigan.)
We usually see at least one lizard (usually a gecko) in the house each day.
I don't mind them because I know they are helping to keep the bugs down.
At nights we often hear rats. They climb up on the house, wires and the
antenna tower just outside our bedroom. We often hear the wires moving,
scratching, running and sometimes it sounds like something rolling. We
don't know what that rolling sound is. It sounds like they have a marble at
times. Yesterday during the day (lunch time to be exact) we heard
squealing. We heard it a few times. It was coming from the roof area above
the living room. Beltina said "panya" which is rat in Swahili. We never
did see it and don't know if it was inside or outside.
We didn't see any evidence of one this morning, so I am hopeful that maybe
it was outside.
We have steel wool sticking out of cracks all over the place and more places
to stuff it yet.
Okay, I have mentioned lizards, monkeys and rats.
Cooking on the wood stove isn't so different from our experiences in the
past. Now that we have it a good inside cleaning we don't have to have the
windows and doors open to clear out the smoke. It is doing much better!
The leak around the chimney above the stove was fixed this week, so we don't
have water running down the chimney onto the top of the stove and onto the
floor anymore. That is a huge blessing. Not having running hot water isn't
a big deal. Running out of water is sometimes a big deal. So that is a
taste of Africa that isn't always the sweetest.
In regards to snakes... we enjoyed nature when we were in the US. We knew
exactly which snakes were poisonous and how to identify them. So if it was
not a poisonous snake we would just watch and learn what we could of it.
That isn't our policy here. Since there are spitting cobras here, as well
as black mombas our policy is that if the snake isn't dead, don't even look
at it. That isn't much fun. The puff adder that was on the road that one
day, we took exception to. He was obviously not one of the two previously
mentioned snakes.
We seem to have more issues with ants here, also. I am not having too much
of an issue inside, but Joshua seems to get into them daily these last few
days. We have army ants, poisonous ants, and a HOST of other varieties of
ants. We have HUGE ants and almost microscopic ants. Of course there are a
lot of termites here also. Some of those are huge too! Often when it rains
the breeding ones come out with their wings and fly around. Oh, some of the
bugs (including those termites) are a food item here. Even though chocolate
covered ants might be heard of in the states, bug eating here seems much
more common.
I have previously mentioned that all of our windows have bars on them to
keep out thieves. There are places in the states that do the same, though.
I just hadn't lived in one of those places.
Our house has a metal roof and nothing between it and the living area (no
ceiling or insulation.) So when the sun comes out, it heats up quickly. It
also cools quickly when it is not sunny. The sounds of the rain on the roof
seems to sound like more rain than there actually is, except when we have
those torrential downpours where you can't even see beyond the yard or hear
even when sitting beside each other.
And there is also the language barrier. Although the missionaries here on
campus all know English, for many of them it is not their first language.
We have two Swiss families, people from Canada, South Africa, Holland (or is
it Norway), Zambia and maybe some other locations. We have one other
American family and a visitor from the States right now also. So even
though we may be able to speak the same language, it can still have some
challenges. Then there is everyone else speaking Swahili. So living in a
place where the main language is one that we are trying to learn is very
We are adjusting to living without refrigeration of any kind (at least until
the container gets here!) There are various kitchen and other tools on the
container that we are looking forward to having. I haven't gotten it
figured out how to make just enough food for one meal without it being a bit
too much or too little.
We had another person drop in today for some minor medical assistance. It
was a bee sting to the eyelid. I am glad we were able to help him out.
God is faithful and I praise Him for all of His blessings. Although life is
very different here, we know this is exactly where He wants us to be right
now. For those who were interested a little in some of the interesting
things that we have going on here, I hope you enjoyed this post.
Stay strong in the Lord Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Container and Prayer Request Update

We did receive the paperwork from the shipper. It was waiting for us in our
email when we woke up this morning. We praise God for fast answered prayer.
With that we are now able to track the container. It looks like it will be
the 14th of April or later now before it reaches port. I am thinking it
might be much later. If I am reading the information correctly it looks
like it might make it to Dar es Salaam by the 14th, then it will have to
make its way up to Tanga.
Thank you everyone for the prayers.

Monday, March 26, 2012

No appointment needed

We had a very nice Sabbath. We were well enough to go to church and then we
"lunch pooled" with another family and visitor. We then watched another
great sermon on a computer and had some very good discussion afterwards. We
took a short walk just after lunch and got a bit wet as it started raining.
(I am not complaining!)
Sunday brought opportunities to minister. First another missionary family
member brought over a young lady to have her get some reading glasses. We
are very thankful for the donation of the reading glasses and quick test
chart that we were able to bring the first time we came to Kibidula back in
June of last year. They have been a blessing to many people. The young
lady and her mother seemed very happy with her new glasses and her ability
to read without putting the book so close to her face and squinting. She is
a student and has been getting bad headaches after much reading. When the
mother asked how much they needed to pay, we explained that they were a gift
from God.
At lunch time a man and his son were escorted to our door. The man had hurt
his back two weeks ago. Doug worked on him for a few hours and he said he
was feeling much better. He thought he might come back again today if he
needed to, but so far we have not seen him.
Joshua joined in by spending time with the son, coloring in his Bible
Coloring Activity book, doing Bible word searches and sharing some of his
other activities.
It is a joy to be a blessing.
Doug has started making rounds to the other houses on campus checking their
solar systems and batteries.
Thank you to everyone that has been praying for us to have rain. It has
rained almost every day this last week. Yesterday it rained so hard we
couldn't have a conversation, again. Right now we see the rain clouds and
hear there thunder, again.
Doug is currently trying to find out about his trip to Tanga and what should
be brought. He just got off the phone. The shipping company has failed to
give us a copy of the shipping lines bill of lading. Until a copy of that
is to our receiving agent, they told Doug to not even bother to come! We
have been trying to get them to give us the BOL for weeks now. PLEASE JOIN
The thing that was good about Doug going to Tanga this week, was that
another staff member has to go to Tanga and they could go together. Now
with this delay (unless it is cleared up VERY QUICKLY) Doug may have to go
Please also pray for successful release and delivery of the container that
has our stuff, ministry items and Kibidula's new tractor in it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012


I am so full of sadness right now. I have dry and fresh tears on my face.
We were visited by a thirty-seven year old local lady who is not well. From
her symptoms and descriptions, she has hepatitis or AIDs or both. We have
counseled with her what she can do starting immediately for herself
(lifestyle improvements that will assist her liver and immune system) we
have prayed for her and will continue to pray for her. We have advised her
to go to the hospital and be tested to determine exactly what is wrong
before we assist her further. She said she has been to the doctor before
but the medicine didn't help her.
It is so sad to know that there are so many people in this country with so
many diseases that are so horrendous and so many are preventable. She has
six children. She is a person. So many times illnesses are statistics, but
these are people, real people with families, dreams, joys and pains. These
are all God's children, most of whom are being held captive by the enemy of
souls through wrong choices and circumstances.
This is going to be the hardest job of my life, being here, I think.
Helping people is wonderful and painful all at the same time.
So what to do now? I am very anxious for our container to arrive so that we
have all of our stuff so we can set up shop and be more effective. I am so
thankful that we have some posters with pictures that we picked up in Dar es
Salaam, so I could explain to the lady about her liver and why her eyes were
yellow and her skin was so itchy, etc. But we will have more tools when the
container arrives. We will have our supplies. My greatest supply is from
Jesus. I don't have to wait until the container arrives for This! He will
guide us through each of the cases that are brought to our door.
I talked to a local regarding AIDS and people's attitude and why it is so
bad here. It was heartbreaking. God's ways are perfect and they protect us
from so many diseases and heartaches. So much of the AIDS would never
spread if we were following God's loving rules of conduct. The devil is so
bad. I look forward to Heaven so much. While we wait and do our best to
hasten the day of our departure to Heaven, we will work to ease and prevent
as much suffering as possible.
Please pray for us to have wisdom, language skills, supplies, skills and
ability to meet each case as it arrives.
God is faithful. I am glad we are here. I pray that we do exactly as God
will have us in each situation. It sure is good for the prayer life, being
here and having people come to us for help. It doesn't matter how much we
know, if we do it apart from Jesus, we are not doing it right. I praise His
Name for His Goodness and Character. He will do marvelous things here. I
know He wants to. May we be found faithful every moment of the day.
Thank you for your prayers.

Happy Dog and Runny Noses


Lassie (our mission dog) is very happy that we have returned to our home at Kibidula.  He seems to enjoy being part of a family.  He likes to get as close to coming inside as possible.  Sometimes he more than pushes the limit and is usually good about going out when told. 

We returned to our home on the 11th of this month.

I have added a new page to our blog (website.)  It is under the tab Great Websites.

We have had many friends ask what we believe about various Bible subjects and these websites can go into the detailed Bible study on the various subjects that I have not had the time or pleasure of explaining in some brief encounters.  I know that many people have questions about these and other subjects.  These websites have an AMAZING amount of resources from the Bible (the one source we know we can trust) to answer these questions.  They answer the surface questions, and then have additional resources to answer so many more.  I love the Bible and the beautiful truth that God has given us there to show us His love in each subject.  He is truly the God of love and wants each one of us to know Him better.  I hope these sites will be a blessing to many of you.

Joshua came down with a cold several days ago, and now he has kindly shared it with me.  He loves to share!

Doug has started teaching at the Lay Evangelism School and I have substituted one day at the Primary School.  Yesterday we were blessed to be able to give hydrotherapy to one of the students that was not feeling well.  He said he was feeling much better before he left. 

We have been informed that Doug will have to travel to Tanga (the port city where the container will come in) to show our residency permit and perhaps some additional documentation.  I am not looking forward to being separated from him for many days.  There is a break in the teaching schedule at the school, so that part will work out I think.  Please pray that all will go well in his trip.  Please pray especially for safety in all his travels and for the issues at the government office to be cleared quickly and properly as God deems best.

As much as I dont like it, I think it is time to put out the request for financial supporters.  We would be very blessed for each person or family that feels impressed to send monthly support to the address on the support page.  We would like to make a budget and we also want to get the local treatment center up and running soon, as God wills. 

Please pray and ask the Lord if He would have you support us and this mission project with one time gifts or monthly contributions.  A small monthly donation that comes in regularly from many supporters is so helpful.  $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or whatever amount the Lord impresses you with will be GREATLY appreciated.  Smaller contributions over a long time often are easier for many budgets, and please dont think that any gift is unappreciated.   God can bless and multiply. 

God is doing marvelous things here in Africa.  The medical work is wide open.  People are dealing with lifestyle diseases that we have seen reversed.  As we work with people we develop a trust with them, and they want to know about Jesus!  It is a wonderful thing. 

God has been answering the prayers for rain.  We have been having more regular rains.  Some of them are so heavy that we can barely speak to each other and hear even when we are sitting next to each other.  Our metal roof can be most noisy. 

We have not had any rats inside the house (that we know of) for several days.  We are very happy about that!

I hope to put some seedlings out in the newly worked up ground today.  If not today, then perhaps tomorrow (Friday.)

My first garden in Africa!  It will be a very simple spot to start with, but it will be a start. 

Thank you each one for praying for us, and for praying about whether you will support us on a regular basis.  If you decide to support on a regular basis, please send us an email so we can try to work that into our budget (if you want to.)

Thank you and may the Lord pour out His very best blessing in each of your lives.

Time is short and Jesus will return soon.  How soon?  We know not the day or hour, but we can see that it is even at the doors.  World events are a reflection of Matthew 24, Revelation, Daniel and many other prophecies.  I pray that our hearts will be consecrated wholly to the Lord and we will rejoice at His soon return, and encourage others to know, love and follow Him, too.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Cooking Class and Pigmy Kingfisher

Class went mostly well today.  The process that the other students were doing with slaughtering and processing the chickens was rather disturbing, but other than that it went quite well, I think.
They were very pretty chickens. 
Joshua helped out, including "scratching" the coconut on the mbuzi.

The highlight of my day was when the guards gave Joshua this Pigmy Kingfisher.  I think it must have ran into a window.
In Joshua's hand.
After quite a while and many pictures it flew a tiny bit and looked much better.
He is feeling better now.

It was then placed in a box and we were taking it back to our banda.  I was hoping it would be well enough to take care of itself.  I took it out of the box and it immediately flew to a nearby bush.  It looked so different and so much better than when we first saw it.  I am so thankful!  It is a beautiful bird.  
Pigmy Kingfisher after he felt much better and flew into the bush.

I am looking forward to Heaven when all the animals will be safe from us and other harm.  Then we can enjoy them all and they can enjoy us too!

We have 5 more days of class next week!
We have received another request for a change in paperwork, but I have sent that off.  That is the latest.  Thank you again for all the prayers and support.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

God answers prayers - TIN complete

Sometimes I am embarrassed at my surprise when God answers our prayers so
wonderfully. He did again today.
Yesterday we were told that we would have our "town/market" experience
today. We prayed that God would help us to get our shopping assignment done
quickly and get our TIN paperwork completed during the town trip.
I prayed that God would help us get it COMPLETED today and quickly.
Here is how He answered our prayer. First we got our shopping done very
quickly and for the exact amount of money we had for our assignment. The
driver of the vehicle was parked very close to our shopping area so we
quickly dropped off our purchases and walked very briskly to the TRA office.

When we arrived I was relieved to see a very short line of people outside
door number six (where we had to go.) I sat down to wait in line, but Doug
felt impressed to open the door. When he did, he motioned to me to come in.
There was an empty waiting room inside and a lady behind the desk whom we
had talked to two days previously. She welcomed us right to her desk. We
didn't argue one second. She quickly had me sit down and took my picture
and my finger prints, and she did the same for Doug (although it took three
times for his picture to be acceptable.) Then she told us to go back up to
room 105. Before we left her office, the waiting room was packed full of
people and the line down the hall was very long. We had only been in her
office about 5 minutes total, and now there was a line of about 20 people!
I was praising the Lord for the miracle of getting us there at just the
perfect time. If we had been 5 minutes later, we would have spent the rest
of the day probably and perhaps not gotten done, again.
We went up to room 105 and there was a very short line of about 3-4 people.
We waited maybe 10 minutes in this line. When it was our turn, he quickly
took our paperwork and printed out our final certificates. We asked if we
were done, he said we were done "there." I asked again at the reception
area on the way out if we were finished. He said we were finished. We had
gotten a ride to town with the class (part of classes cost) and expected to
have to purchase rides back to town. God is so good.
Before we left camp I had told Alloyce that we might not make it back for
lunch. He gave me his phone number and told me to call when I knew for
certain if we would be back for lunch or not so they could save us some
lunch. As soon as we were done, I called him and asked if he could contact
the car driver and find out if he and the other groups had returned to
school or if they were still in town. He told me to call back in 5 minutes.
I called back and he told me that they were still in town. He told me to go
to the office and ask the lady working there call the driver to pick us up
at the office. We quickly did that. She quickly called him and said he
would come to pick us up. Only two more things I needed to do. I needed to
find someone to scan in our certificates and to get Doug's emailed to the
receiving agent. I told the lady my need. She said she could scan it and
email it to me right then. She did just that. Before I left her office it
was downloading on my computer (I had my internet "dongle" with me with
works in town.) The drive drove up and told us that the other groups were
not had not finished their shopping yet! I quickly forwarded the email with
certificate to the receiving agent. It was all done in less than on hour!
God is SO AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL. I know this was in answer to our and many
others prayers! We didn't even have to pay for a crowded ride back to
school (and a mile walk after that.) We didn't miss lunch either (or have
to buy it in town.) We were able to make this whole trip without any more
additional cost (unlike the two previous trips) and in record time! Nothing
is too hard for God!
Right now it appears that the bill of lading is complete (only one, but the
receiving agent said he would try to sort it out when it arrived - more
prayers!) Now he is asking for a corrected inventory with a few things I
don't know how to do. I will ask around and see if someone else has some
ideas on how to make it the way he wants it. Maybe I can find something on
the internet. Kirstein loaned us his phone to use for a "dongle" down here
at camp again.
I praise the Lord for his goodness. If we had not gotten this done today,
Doug was going to have to miss a day of class to go next week to finish the
Tomorrow we will learn how to make ugali and some other Tanzanian foods
(along with the rest of the class.) We need to memorize some lists of verbs
and nouns to use in class. We are only allowed to talk in Swahili tomorrow
in the kitchen (jikoni.) Thank you for the prayers. The container should
be arriving anytime from yesterday until ??? - Tamara